When traveling to other countries, the power supply and other electrical safety standards are different from your home country. You may have to buy many accessories and equipment to adapt your device standard with that in the country you visit, especially travel adaptors. Before going to Vietnam, read our guide on using your electrical devices and electricity in Vietnam, and what you need to prepare for your trip.
Before going on a trip, you should have a checklist of what kind of electrical devices you want to bring abroad along with their accessories. You can refer to this to prepare for your journey.
• Bring your chargers and spare battery
Recommended brands for spare batteries:
Anker PowerCore 20100: The battery costs a bit higher than the typical ones, but the quality does come with the price.
Aibocn 10000mAh Power Bank: A more cost-conscious option that can still provide adequate quality.
• Make sure they are not the counterfeit ones when buying replacements in case you forgot or lost them
• Check the standard voltage and frequency of power supply in the country and socket/plug types
The standard electrical voltage used in Vietnam is 220V. The power supply in Vietnam is not dual voltage rated. Some places may be able to convert the voltage to 110V, so check with the staff first before trying to plug anything in the sockets. The standard frequency is 50Hz, and power plugs used in Vietnam are type A, C, and F.
• Decide which electrical appliances you are going to bring with you on your journey
• See if your electrical appliances and the power supply in the destination country is dual voltage rated
• Consider buying the travel adaptors and voltage converter if the electrical safety standard of the devices you bring is not compatible with the power supply in the destination country
• Check with the staffs at your accommodation or cruise ship about the power supply standard because they may be different from the power supply in the destination country
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Converter and transformer are typically used to adjust the voltage output either from 220V to 110V or the other way around, from 110V to 220V. While converters are usually used with electric appliances for a short amount of time, such as phones, laptops, and camera; the transformers are used for electrical devices for an extended period and sometimes has grounded connection like the refrigerator, washing machine, and TV. So most of the time you may only need the voltage converter only.
Travel adaptors are to change from one plug type to another; they don’t transform the voltage or frequency. You may not need to buy a travel adaptor because it is often attached to the voltage converters or transformers. But if you do need one, buy a travel adaptor that matches with your device power rating, so that they don’t use the power exceeding the maximum AMPS and WATTS of the adaptors. Plug types will vary depends on the appliances you are going to bring and the origin of those devices (where the appliances are sold and intended to be used in which country).
Some travel adaptors and voltage converters are not suitable for appliances that are connected to the ground. The appliances that don’t have a grounded connection are called double-insulated appliances. You can check the symbol marking double-insulated on the charger or your device.
The frequency difference may cause a little change in the functioning of your devices, but new models of phone chargers and laptops are usually not affected.
Some electrical gadgets you may bring on your trips are cameras, phones, and laptops. To check for fake chargers or power rating of these devices, you should look for small printed instruction on the plug or the adapter (laptop and camera) and the back of your devices. What information you should check:
• Whether the information (content logo, model, batch number, power rating) on the back of your devices and the information on the plug or the adapter is matched and don’t have any spelling errors. The counterfeit becomes more and more sophisticated so that these markings might be fake as well.
• Whether there is a marking of CE (Conformité Européene) or CCC (China Compulsory Certificate) but these might be easily forged
Another thing you could do is test the charger and read the instruction.
• Test whether the plugs fit your devices and sockets. If they don't comfortably fit in, then there is a high possibility that the charger is counterfeit
• There should be basic safety guidelines such as condition, limitation of use, how to operate the chargers in the instruction
A bogus charger is usually lighter than the real one because it doesn't contain enough metal and its plug pins don’t have a matte finished.
You should buy the electrical outlet adaptor or travel adaptor (phich chuyen doi o cam in Vietnamese) and the voltage converter (thiet bi bien ap in Vietnamese) before traveling. You can easily look for an abundance of travel adaptors on Amazon. However, in case you forget to bring or lose them on your way to Vietnam, you can also buy them in Vietnam too.
There are many places to buy the travel adaptor, voltage converter and charger like big electronics stores, online or in small electronics shops. Note that many of these places will sell many kinds of travel adaptor: those that fit power plugs of imported goods that are used in Vietnam and those for people who want to travel abroad. Make sure that you buy the type A, C or F output.
The average prices:
Travel Adaptor: VND 80,000+
Voltage Converter: VND 200,000+
Charger: VND 500,000+
Dien May Xanh (Opening hours: 8 AM - 10 PM)
Nguyen Kim (Opening hours: 8 AM - 10 PM)
Online: Lazada.com; Tiki.com; etc.
These shops are usually located in local markets, or on streets like Huynh Thuc Khang, Ho Tung Mau, Dan Sinh (District 1), Hoang Van Thu (Tan Binh District), Nhat Tao (District 10), and Hong Bang (District 5) in Ho Chi Minh City. To avoid being scammed and overcharged, you should check the price online before going to these shops.
Outlet extender (o cam keo dai) is another thing you may need if you have brought too many electrical devices and ran out of plugs. You can also purchase them easily at these stores.
Some brands of Vietnam travel adaptors you may come across are Dien Quang and LiOA.
To travel safely with your electrical devices, make sure you follow instructions on the airplane, at your hotel and the places you are going to visit.
When on the plane
• The spare battery needs to be placed in checked-in luggage and cannot be used for carry-on
When you are at your hotel
• Never use electrical devices when your hands are wet, or you are in wet areas
• Never touch or handle the sockets, the charger or cable if you find any sign of damage like crack or detachment
• Do not force the plug if it does not fit in the sockets easily
When traveling to the wilderness
• Consider buying a waterproof or shockproof case for your laptop and other electronic devices
Some of the power plugs used in Vietnam may be different a bit in size or installed poorly, so it is best to look for other sockets or ask the staff at your hotel to fix them before using.
• Always make sure to look for signs of electrical problems like sounds and smell
• Check if there is residual-current circuit breaker at the place you stay
The electricity voltage used in Vietnam and its frequency is different from that of US, Japan, and Taiwan. The power plugs used in Vietnam are also in different shapes. To use your electrical devices in Vietnam, you need to bring along some accessories including the travel adaptor and voltage converter. You can also buy Vietnam travel adaptors once you get here in some electronics stores or online. Make sure to check the price first and then look for items that are sold/made by reliable retailers/manufacturers.
© Written by Nhi Nguyen for itourvn.com